tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current May 4, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
this, it's their mistake. i'm hopeful because president obama has an exceptionally strong record of achievement that he'll overrule them. >> tico almeida founder of freedom to work. that's viewpoint tonight. stay right here to enter the war room.with jennifer granholm. thanks for watching. have a great weekend. i'm jennifer grandholm, and it is friday inside "the war room." so the kentucky derby is tomorrow, but tonight we're handicapping ardifferent kind of race. ♪ >> and they are off. the presidential horse race breaks out of the starting gate. both candidates head to virginia to stake their claim on the mother of all swing states. obama leads by a length but poll numbers aren't what is keeping him up at night. a new jobs report shows an economy that is not quite ready
to enter the home stretch. it is still a long way to the finish line but the race starts now. ♪ president obama heads to virginia tomorrow to officially kickoff the recollection campaign. it will be his 46th trip to virginia. it's a crucial swing state. that's more than double and plus the number of stops that he has made in the next-most visited state of ohio 21 there, and then florida is next followed by pennsylvania and nevada. why so many visits? because the road to the white
house runs especially through virginia. so for more on virginia and analysis of swing state electoral mass from new york i'm joined by david paul kuhm, he is the chief political core upon dent for real politics. thank you for joining us. >> pleasure to be here. >> explain that. >> the democrats have an advantage on the electoral map right now, and barack obama can lose the candidacy if he loses virginia. it is really very simple. >> let's look at the latest washington post poll because it has obama at 51% and romney at 44 in virginia.
what is going on inside of virginia that causes the president to do so well and mitt romney to have to catch up. >> that poll probably exaggerated barack obama's strength. if you look at the aggregate of he's say the last five polls, obama is up 3 percentage points. either way it'ser terrible for the republican party and mitt romney. and it has to concern romney's team and what is going on. it's the new virginia. >> so if you vice late virginia is there another one state that is a must-win for both candidates? >> there's not one state. that's what is different about 2012. there is not one state that both candidates in that same state need to win. barack obama can actually lose ohio and florida and win the presidency. it would be a very difficult road for obama around ohio and
florida, but it's possible. mitt romney needs ohio virginia and florida. so all of these states are extremely important. i would add colorado to that mix. if you had to pick four of the most crucial swing states i'm confident it's those four. >> and that's for romney? >> that's for -- >> or for both? >> that's for obama and romney. now if we're talking about the states that let's say barack obama cannot afford to lose he certainly cannot afford to lose -- it's those mountain swing states in the mountain west, so if he is losing nevada and if he is losing new mexico he really will have to win ohio. he will have to win florida, and that means the traditional map will swing to the right. we're watching those states to see if he can compensate and if
he has rallied around the more traditional swing states. >> we were having a discussion last night on this show about.com graphics. and president obama is heading to ohio and it has a lot of blue color voters and the president is having some trouble with blue color white males. can we voo more of those voters by showing up. >> barack obama has and so have democrats since 1980. when we're talking about barack obama's difficulties, we have to also consider the baggage that he inherited as a democratic candidate and president in this case. so can he mitigate the immense republican advantage with blue-color working-class white
males and working class white females, he can. going to ohio can help. but i would say ohio leans is to the -- it leans a little right at this point. >> yeah. although i'm predicting that obama is going to take ohio too because of the auto industry. but let me ask you about the vice president issues, and how that plays in the swing states. florida is obviously key, so key that he might actually pick senator rubio or jeb bush to be his running mate and if so does that have an impact? >> it's fair to say that if jeb bush were on that ticket it could help. jeb bush has more pull in the state, but you pick rubio or jeb
bush in part to determine how you secure florida without investing too much time there, obviously bush and rubio have other strengths and weaknesses. rubio can give at least a counter argument on the hispanic airways, and that's important because republicans have a massive chasm to comp state for. and jeb bush i think the bush name is an albatross and that's not considered enough in washington when you hear the establish laud bush's praise. >> i would also be surprised if romney picked somebody to be big enough to overshadow him, and i think bush may fall in that category. what about rob portman in ohio?
>> let's always presume when we're talking about vice presidents that they won't have an impact on his home state. the last one to have an impact is lyndon johnson. that was a long time ago. generally vice presidents cannot turn their state. they can help. but romney is also pretty strong in florida, so when i look at virginia i'm not sure he helps that much or hurt the national ticket. he has some controversial -- >> hello. >> can you hear me? [ laughter ] >> yes, exactly. >> well, i appreciate you coming on. i think you are right on the money on much of your analysis. it's a friday night here in "the war room," we love to parse this stuff. coming up a new report blows the roof off of alec's stable of
corporate backers, and you will be shocked which companies are ponying up. and mitt romney thinks he found a winning horse in today's so-so job support. and he does know his horses. >> i have a missouri foxtroter, so my is like a quarter horse. >>now let's get some real news. (vo) first, news and analysis with a washington perspective from an emmy winning insider. >>you couldn't say it any more powerfully than that. >> current tv, on the roll. (vo)followed by humor and politics with a west coast edge. >>ah, thank you. >>it really is incredible. (vo)bill press and stephanie miller, current's morning news block. weekdays six to noon.
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it's a terrible and very disappointing report this morning. clearly the american people are wondering why this recovery isn't happening faster why it has taken years and years for the recovery to occur. >> that's presumptive gop presidential nominee mitt romney jockeying for position after today's lackluster jobs report. according to the bureau of labor statistics, the nation's unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point. and in april the economy added 115,000 new jobs which was less than the 170,000 jobs that forecasters had predicted. but it's hardly reason for mitt romney to act like the sky is falling. obviously it helps him out for things to be as bad as possible. the numbers were disappointing,
but there's no doubt the country is on a slow recovery. since the depth of the recession in february 2010 the economy has added 3.7 new jobs, private sector employment in the first quarter of this year is up 697,000 jobs. now that in one quarter is the highest that it has been since the year 2006. and since 2010, 489,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created. so, yes, any economy is getting better, but we're definitely not out of the woods yet, and one specific area we haven't seen much improvement in is income inequality. here to discuss income inequality and the role that it might play in this presidential election and in the economy is
election and in the economy is university of texas economist james gailbraith, author of the book "inequality and instability." professor joins us tonight from austin. welcome into "the war room." >> thank you. >> glad to have you here. my first question really is could income inequality itself actually be one of the reasons for the slow job growth that we're seeing? >> i think that's a complicated argument to make. the slow job growth is the result of the financial meltdown of the fact that there is no part of the economy that is going to be a strong locomotive of growth the household sector in particular is flat on its back because of the continued fall of housing prices and the fact a very large number of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, and in this situation, it was clear from the beginning in 2008 2009 that we
wr in an extraordinarily difficult situation, and we were going to face a very very long haul. >> well the result of the meltdown of course has -- or the meltdown has given birth to a number of movements, including the occupy movement. if not investor relations investor relations certainly, and a number of other things but can movements like that can occupy actually do something that will affect change? >> i think the occupy movement called attention to the role that is being played or not played by the financial sector of the economy to the fact that we have an economy today which is dominated bay very small number of large banks, which managed to come through the crisis, thanks to the federal government and the taxpayer but which are not contributing in a
material way to the recovery of the economy and the creation of jobs. there is a very desperate need for a thorough-going reform in the sector. for the sector to be downsized. for the practices that lead to the debacle to be fully investigated and as needed prosecuted. these things have not yet happened, and i think that until we either reform this sector or create new institutions that can do the job that the banks are not doing, we're not going to see the kind of strong job creation that we would like to see. >> so is either one of the candidates, the president or mitt romney or anyone suggesting realistic, pragmatic solutions? >> not that i have seen unfortunately, no. i think there are steps that one could take that would immediately make many people's lives better and that would
lead to -- let's say jobs being better matched to the people who need them most but we would need to see some real initiative on that. i would like to see -- >> yes, tell us. what do we need to do? >> how about raising the minimum wage. raise the incomes of working people at the bottom of the pay scale and improve their ability to buy goods and services. it would help a great deal it seems to me to rectify some of the really great hardship rising income inequality. >> what should the minimum wage be? >> i would like to see it go up to $12 an hour. that's my opening bid. i know senator harkin has a bill that would raise it to $9.80. but i think we should change the structure of wages so the floor is substantially higher than it
has been. here is an idea that runs against the grain of what people in washington have been saying. we have an older working population many of whom would like to retire. i would like to see us sweeten the deal on social security so people can leave the labor force gracefully and comfortably, and open up jobs for younger people. i'm talking about people who have worked for 30 years, who wear back braces on the job. there are many such people who would like to -- to transition to something else. and we have the capacity to do that. that's a kind of step which would not change the way businesses operate, but would enable let's say older people to leave the labor force, and younger people who would like to form families -- >> there was a story today about that very thing that the income -- excuse me -- the job
level -- the unemployment level of people who are say 55 and up is perfectly fine. the problem is at the bottom and a lot of people who may be in the older age bracket may be taking jobs that might otherwise be taken by the younger. give me one more suggestion. >> this idea comes from my friend dean baker, which is to enact a right to rent law, so that people who are foreclosed on their homes can stay in them at a fair rent and not have to move out, and maybe have three years they have the right to buy the homes back when their circumstances change. that would change the rules affecting the relationship between home owners who are underwater, and the bankers, and would make the bankers a lot more amenable to a principal reduction or whatever it takes
to fix the issue. right now whole neighbors have imploding in many places around the country. >> author and economy, james gailbraith thank you for joining us on a friday night. and we want to hear from you too. go to our facebook page and join in on the conversation. and up next the koch brother's are up to their old you've heard jennifer's views, now let's hear yours. >>the war room needs your help. >>the only online forum with a direct line to jennifer granholm. >>our goal is to bring you behind the scenes with access to stories that you've never seen >>politicallydirect.com join the debate now.
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way we're going to solve the world's great vexing problems. ♪ big news on alec the american legislative exchange council that secretive organization that writes laws for conservative state legislators. today the non-profit group common cause shed a little light on alec's inner workings. it published the names of all of though companies that sit on alec's board. 139 companies in total, 28 of which are part of big energy. here are some of the names of companies that actually sit with alec support alec peabody energy, for example, actually
was the sponsor of their big conference last year the largest coal company in the world. in fact, what else has been exposed is that alec has had very aggressive effort to dive into state legislatures and pass laws. this is a resolution that was passed in six states saying that a tremendous amount of economic growth would be sacrificed for a reduction in carbon emissions. that exact language was passed as a resolution in six states. alec has always been effective in getting pro frac-ing legislation passed. alec backed a law that kept potential chemicals a trade secret. a model bill has been introduced in six states. alec has always been active in
trying to repeal state -- the state efforts that have already supported clean energy laws and energy targets. there is a resolution that was passed by alec to discourage states from participating in national renewable energy targets, but also state renewable energy targets are on tap to be attacked by alec repealing state renewable portfolio standards. so here to elaborate on alec's anti-environment agenda is dayle byrck. she is joining from new york. dayle welcome inside the "war room." >> thanks so much for having me. >> you bet. how effective has alec been in pushing this anti-environmental legislation through states and the federal government as well. >> they haven't been that
effective yet, but they are having a huge impact in that they are getting out there in many, many states on a whole variety of issues renewable energy energy efficiency and it is really potentially a huge problem because these are the sectors that are the bright spots in these economies in these states. this is where we see the energy sector creating the most jobs and economic benefits for the american people. so it's clearly an industry-funded group that represents, not the entire energy industry, but just the incumbent oil and coal sectors that don't want to see renewable energy come in and steal their market share and they don't want to see energy efficiency saving money across the country for customers, but that also eats into their profits. >> so talk about how this works.
how does an alec -- an organization like alec help exxon -- has an idea that exxon has become a state law? >> yeah. well there they draft model legislation like the resolutions that you mentioned, but also actual legislation to repeal laws that exist in states where -- the states that are trying to get out in front and create these opportunities and clean up the air and water for their citizens as well. so they create models and then they shop them around, they have conferences, and they have a lot of resources, because they are funded by these big industries. so they have an early bite of the apple with these slate fors and they can get out there in front before legislative sessions begin every year and they have model legislation that they use in all of the states where they are working. >> so most states -- i want to say maybe 28, 29 states have
targets -- clean-energy targets, renewable portfolio standards. alec is now reportedly going after those targets in states to repeal them. do we know how successful that is likely to be or how much has been introduced? >> yeah they are introducing in nine states but we don't know how many state that they will get to. and it's really a serious issue, because there are many companies that have come to these states to set up shop because of the policies that are there to drive invest inspect clean energy so people don't realize in ohio eye loan, there are hundreds of clean energy companies, and they have come to ohio because of the efficiency and renewable energy policies that ohio has. there's a german company that is manufacturing wind turbines in ohio, and employs 7500 people.
they came because of those standards. there is another company in ohio that a makes high-efficiency lighting, and they are employing 200 people. previously they only manufactured their lighting equipment in china. that's happening because of these standards, and the interested companies wanting to be near their markets, and the markets that the state policies are helping to create. >> i think that these things might backfire. i just say this as the former governor of michigan who worked really hard to have clean renewable energy standards introduced and passed with a tough legislature. if they start to introduce stuff to kick that back i know there will be a ballot proposal in michigan which raises our targets. do you think those things might backfire? >> yeah, i do and we actually saw this and there are other
groups in addition to alec that are funded by the koch brothers and because within the legislature there was an opportunity for all of the people who have been benefiting from those policies to get to their slate fors and say i just hired 25 people to weather rise homes. now my energy rate is 30% lower because we're taking dollars that we used to send to power plants, and most of those dollars go out of state and even out of country to import fuel and people don't want to send -- especially on the transportation sector people don't want to spend a billion dollars a day that goes out of the country. they want to spend their money in local communities. so for example, in new jersey they have an renewable portfolio standard, now they have 3,000
people working in the solar industry. it's the second largest in the country, and my sister in law bought a solar panel in new jersey because of that program. because she wants to give her dollars to a contractor that is building in her own community. >> dayle, you are preaching to the choir, and i hope you are preaching to the choir of our viewers. for less than 24 hours, the heartland institute, which is another koch bothered-backed institute, anothering front for them, the heartland institute ran these billboards in chicago. take a look. yep, that's right. billboards linking all people who believe that climate is changing to ted kaczynski, the unabomber, and to osama bin laden in other billboards, and
charles manson. the 97% of advertises are just like mass murderers, and terrorists! of course, it's a obvious! the koch brothers and their energy companies do not want you to believe in climate change. so they try to use shocking ridiculous billboards as a strategy. the heartland jumps the shark, meaning the ad was just too much even by heartland's low standards, and today just hours ago, heartland pulled the billboards. they took them down because of the outrage that those billboards causes among people like you, but there's more outrageous behavior being funded every single day but heartland and alec and american
legislative exchange council. in states lawmakers are regoing to repeal standards that have created jobs and helped our environment as well. thankfully nothing has passed yet, but if they keep it up you never know. and if today's koch backed billboards don't cause corporations like eli lilly and pfizer to see what heartland and alec are up to nothing will. but it's up to you. the corporations funding this hateful and outrageous message need to know that you don't approve. the only way change happens is through the power of our voices. so there's a link at our website at current.com/thewarroom with a list of corporations of alec examine that list and take action. maybe switch your beer from anheuser-busch, which is a
supporting corporation to of alec to a local brewery. it's up to you. but you must let them know their message is spreading lies and hate even if it's for less than 24 hours in the case of these bill boors it is unacceptable as a strategy, tactic and the future. if you don't ask them to stop it's go time. >>every weeknight cenk uygur calls out the mainstream media. >>the guys in the middle class the guys in the lower end got screwed again. >>i think you know which one we're talking about. the overwhelming majority of the country says"tax the rich, don't go to war." >>just wanted to clarify that. [ male announcer ] cookies with smooth caramel and chocolate. ♪ ♪ hmm twix.
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states like pennsylvania and ohio and today, the interior department announced new rules, forcing gas companies, natural gas companies to disclose which chemicals t they are pumping into the natural gas wells that they are drilling and that's a big deal because some of those chemicals might be highly toxic. frac-ing fluid contains 29 chemicals that are known or possible human cars agains. why can oil and gas companies pump those chemicals? because president bush exempted fraccing from oversight. environmental lists say today's rules are a step in the right direction, but they don't go far enough and here is why. they only apply to federal lands, and because companies must disclose but 30 days after
they already started frac-ing. a certain -- the concern is that you can't close the barn door after the horse has dumped toxic chemicals into it. so for more, i'm joined by he's a senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the center for american progress. dan, so glad to welcome you inside "the war room." >> thank you. it's an honor to be in the actual "war room." >> i know where everything happens. are you concerned about these new rules on fraccing? >> absolutely. the administration did something that no one else has done which is to require that companies report on the chemicals they use, but they are doing it as you said -- >> and that's good. >> that's good. but after they started using them. so there's no way to take a baseline measure in advance.
second it's not clear that this information will be that available to people. it needs onto be on a publicly available website. and both of those are things that t the oil industry wanted. less transparency and report after the fact rather than in advance when they know well what they will be putting in the ground. >> members of the interior department apparently met with representatives from exxon mobil and the american petroleum institute beforehand. do you think there's an opportunity to fix these loopholes, or do you think it is @@ set now? >> there is an opportunity. these are just proposed rules, and it is important for people who are concerned about this to raise their voices and let the interior department know and their senator and congressmen know how they feel about this.
the reason why this only applies to frac-ing on federal lands is because that very halliburton loophole that you talked about. the federal government doesn't have the ability to require frac-ing that occurs on private lands because of previous laws. >> a lot of environmentalists, and i would put myself in this category, like the idea of a bridge using some natural gas because it's much less -- there's many fewer greenhouse gases that are caused, however, the process by which it is distracted is the big problem. do you see a time or a point where technology or advances in chemistry could make this a safer process? >> i think the way to get to that point is to set standards for protection. in some case they already have them. for example, in terms of protecting -- reducing the
amount of global warming pollution that comes from fraccing, we have the technology to capture that gas and then the companies resell it and actually make money. so what we need is to have a regime where they have to redues the pollution -- >> where regulation drives the -- >> exactly. the clean air act of 1970 helped drive the auto industry to develop the catalystic converter. >> right. the imprint on this is very big. talk about the influence of lobbyists especially in the energy realm. >> the big five oil companies spent over $60 million in lobbying last year alone, and they don't do that for fun. they expect to get something from it. big oil, american petroleum institute, and other funded
entities have spent $16 million in negative advertising about oil and energy this year and the koch brothers for example might spend up to $100 million campaigning against president obama and clean energy agenda. >> so mitt romney gets a lot of his money from the oil companies and from those energy companies. do you think he has changed his position from when he was veveorfassachusuststsoowow as a a r rulul offthat? >> tnk>>hehe popote he changes his position to appeal to big oil interest and ideal logs. and they have rewarded him directly and indirectly in these superpacks where they can spend 10s of million dollarses of dollar on his behalf. and they have already started. >> well you guys have great work director of climate strategy at the center for american
progress, check out their website too. and then coming up we will head into the home stretch of our day before the kentucky derby with it takes people with real knowledge to build and maintain a race car. polymers, hydo-carbons, thermal plastics, math and science? you bet it is. many kids don't understand how important these subjects can be that's why time warner cable developed connect a million minds. to introduce kids in our communities to the opportunities that inspire them to develop these important skills. how can my car go faster? maybe your child will figure it out. find out more at connectamillionminds.com
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that a habit when you grew 8 inches from high school. in fact he hasn't grown an inch since he got to the white house. [ laughter ] >> that was president obama, the joker in chief having some fun with the national championship winning university of kentucky men's basketball team at the white house today. joining us now for a look at the week that was is political satirist w. kamau bell, whose own talk show will premiere on the fx network on august 9th. welcome back into the war room. >> i don't like it when the president is funny. >> yeah he is in your lane. >> i don't try to legislate, you don't have to be funny. >> well you don't have to worry about that with mitt romney at
least. >> yeah. >> mitt romney -- we were talking about the kentucky derby. he had to deny rumors that he was going to the kentucky derby. >> i think he's afraid if one of the horses has a good personality the gop will be disappointed in him again. >> oh. >> i like horses they are all the right height. >> right. the president has had a big week, the chinese dissident and a whole lot of stuff going on. one of the things from this week is george clooney having announced that he was doing this fund raiser. it looks like he is going to raise 12 to $15 million. >> which is a good day in politics, but not a good day at
the movies. >> why politic it is a great day. >> i was hoping for oceans 14 with president obama. >> well he may have a second job there. the president could probably pull a pretty big number. >> yeah. >> "new york times" has a story about the president having some trouble with african -- not african american but with white voters largely white male. is the president -- if this president doesn't break through who can? >> that's one of those stories that every black person in america reads and go yeah no kidding. thanks for putting the headline race is a problem in america.
no matter how poor a white person is some of those people will go at least i'm not black. too soon? you can take the poorest white person, that goes at least i got this white thing going. >> oh let's hope we're more evolved that that. i had somebody on earlier today who was saying since ronald reagan was president, the democrats have had a problem with white males. but i'm sure it is exacerbated. michele bachmann give mitt romney his endorsement. >> the ringing endorsement like four months later, i'm so excited to endorse -- what is his name? >> yeah. >> really? that's the thing with romney this he is finding out what it is like to be from the house of
slithering. he is hanging out with the evil people, and he hired the gay aide and they were like we don't do that here. this is what it will be like. >> if he were the president, he would have to deal with a lot more serious problems. it looks like they have resolved the issue of the chinese dissident. looks like they resolved it as of today. >> good news for the president and hilary clinton. and good news for the disdent. >> yeah mostly good news for that dude. >> really. >> i'm not overly excited about their good news. i'm excited about my good news. >> yeah. i think it is a really important step. there has been an effort to take
the president down with some of these swift voting ads. this is a person who is a veteran, but is also affiliated -- has been affiliated with the mccain and romney campaign. do you think it's going to be a significant chink in the president's armor. >> i think everybody is pretty much on the side of -- that was a good thing that the president did. even your most berkeley passivists are like that was one good kill. >> it's true. >> but there's no way they can spin that into being a bad thing. >> all right. i got to go. jennifer speaks truth to power. >>the bottom line is we need an amendment. >>now it's your turn. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. >>it's a call to arms. make your voice heard.
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it's turn to our amateur psychic, brett ehrlich. shhhh, brett's talking now. >> in shakespeares othello, there are many things that in time will be delivered. well, i say let's reach in and get them. it's next week's this week. this week blind chinese walks in to the american embassy, next week a nun, a priest and a rabbi will walk into a bar. next week a new poll will reveal romney trailing nothing but ten points. he was so close. this week both sides feuded over who politicized the death of osama bin laden. next week both sides will agree
the only person who didn't politicize the death of osama bin laden was osama bin laden. the future. ♪ >> this week, may day marks the return of the occupy movement and some protesters turn violent. next week after totally dominating those barricades the protesters will set their sights higher. traffic cone annihilation. >> occupy! occupy. i turn your brother against you! >> do i look like a mouse? ♪ >> there you have it i'm 100% certain that that stuff will occur or not. i'm done talking now. ♪